Coaching as a verb

Nancy Shanklin, Wednesday Feb 04, 2009, 12:00 am

The previous blog about retaining coaches' positions continues to be important, and I hope that it continues this spring! Another -conversation may be useful, too. Besides being talked about as a position or role, literacy coaching can be talked about as a verb. This is another way that we can keep the concept of coaching alive in these hard budget times. It makes me think about:

-Doing Professional Development Sessions -Leading Data Analysis Sessions -Leading Study Groups -Finding Resources -Conversations “On-the-Fly” -Organizing Peer-Coaching -Assisting with Action Research -Doing Modeling and Demonstration Teaching -Leading Teaching Labs or Lesson Study -Coaching Cycles: Pre, During, Post

What does "literacy coaching" as a verb make you think about? I'm not sure that we have yet explored all of the ways we might "coach."

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Responses to Coaching as a verb

  1. Carol Smith says:

    Coaching as a verb also makes me think of two additional things:

    First, coaches help others re-conceptualize the notion of literacy to include new digital literacies required for communicating and learning via information communication technologies (ICTs). All students need to become digitally literate. Guiding and supporting teachers who must help students acquire the necessary skills, strategies, and attitudes is one very exciting action coaches take.

    Second, coaches participate in global learning communities -- such as this one -- to learn with and from other literacy coaches. An earlier post focused on ways that coaches might nurture themselves. Connecting with other coaches in web-based communities is a learning and nurturing action coaches can take. It keeps us abreast of developments in the field, expands our thinking, and reminds us that we are not alone.

  2. Shirley Simpson says:

    Good morning,

    I am currently an elementary literacy specialist in my district.  Part of my job responsibilities is to reclaim the position of reading teachers/coaches in our district.  We are working to do this for two reasons - to gain consistency in instruction  and to also train these folks to be tier 3 interventionists for RTI.  I am working with a group of about 20 twenty reading teachers on a plan that will be presented showing the need for reading teacher positions in our elementary schools.  Part of this plan needs to include what those of us have trained in reading instruction identify as best practices.  While we seem to be readily able to "say" what these practices are, I am having difficulty finding research that supports practices we have identified.  For example, we have always been told that our small groups should be no more than six students.  Where is the research that says WHY and supports these numbers.  Any help anyone can give me would be GREATLY appreciated.

  3. Amy Sandvold says:

    We experienced this in our district...a compromise is to maintain coaches in the highest poverty schools vs. getting rid of all of them. I just did a podcast on blogtalk radio about this topic. It seems to be on everyone's mind. If you have data via teacher implementation logs and can show how teacher instruction has changed or improved, it makes your case for keeping coaches. Another great resource is the article, Revamping Reading by Van Pelt and Poparad. The article articulates how coaching was a variable in reversing a 15 year trend of declining test scores in an urban school district.

  4. Shirley Simpson says:

    Thanks for the information.  Our task for making our case for these very important postions is critical to meeting the needs of students.  I will look up the information.  I hope this blog can become a continued sharing and eventual identification of best  instructional practices for reading specialists and coaches.  It seems there is much research that needs to be done.

  5. Ann Yanchura says:

    Shirley, have you looked at Dick Allington's new book, What Really Matters in Response to Intervention? He summarizes research on many of the topics related to RtI and speaks strongly about the size of intervention groups. His bibliography might give you some ideas.